Newport is the third largest city in Wales. It is located to the north-east of Cardiff, forming part of the Newport-Cardiff metropolitan area. Since medieval times, it has been famous for its port, which grew significantly during the 19th century with coal exportation from the eastern South Wales Valleys. Newport was also the site of the last large-scale armed insurrection in Britain, the Newport Rising of 1839, led by the Chartists.
These days, Newport remains a lively place to live. The Riverfronts Art Centre presents music, drama, cinema and theatre throughout the year, while sports enthusiasts can watch either Newport RFC or Newport County Football Club in action at Rodney Parade stadium. The Friars Walks shopping complex opened in November 2015. It comprises 30 shops, a dozen restaurants and an eight-screen multiplex cinema, providing a popular meeting place for the city’s younger residents. The city centre also has many pubs, bars and nightclubs, mostly in the vicinity of the High Street.
As part of the city’s regeneration programme, the 15-storey Chartist Tower is currently being redeveloped into a 163-bedroom Mercure Hotel, along with office and retail space, boasting views stretching across the city. Meanwhile, there are also plans in the pipeline for Newport Market to be transformed into a tech hub, with apartments, market units and a food court. It’s certainly an exciting time to be living in Newport, or considering a move to this vibrant Welsh city.
Even though the docks have declined in importance, Newport has remained an important manufacturing and engineering centre. Compared to many Welsh towns and cities, Newport’s economy has a broad base, with engineering works and a large number of retail units. The city has also acquired a range of public sector employers, and a Richard Rogers-designed Inmos microprocessor factory helped to establish Newport as being extant for technology companies. Organisations based in the city include Airbus Defence & Space, the Office for National Statistics, the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office, Lloyds TSB, Panasonic, International Rectifier, Gocompare, Admiral Insurance, Wales and West Utilities, HM Prison Service, the Passport Office for much of the south and west of the UK, and the Wales headquarters of the Charity Commission and British Red Cross. At the mouth of the River Usk, the Sims Metal Management plant is home to the world’s largest shredder for scrap metal, as well as the world’s largest car crusher, which featured in the TV series, ‘How do they do it?’.
Newport is celebrated for its bridges – George Street Bridge was the first cable-stayed bridge in Britain, which opened in 1964. Given the number of bridges, driving around Newport is made easy. The M4 comes within a mile of the city centre, while the Great Western main railway line passes through the heart of Newport, stopping at the city’s railway station. Newport is well-linked, thanks to its proximity to nearby Cardiff, with approximately six rail and five bus services between the cities every hour. Newport Bus Station is the largest bus interchange in the county, with 24 stands, while Newport railway station is the third-busiest station in Wales. When it comes to air travel, the nearest airport with scheduled domestic and international flights is Cardiff Airport, which is about 30 miles away.
The city has over 50 primary schools (including three Welsh-medium primary schools), eight state secondary schools, a special educational needs school, plus independent school, Rougemont School. The University of South Wales campus is on the west bank of the river Usk in the city centre. The university can trace its roots to the founding of the Newport Mechanics Institute in 1841. There’s also the Newport School of Art, Media and Design, one of the first Art Schools to be awarded degree status in 1973, as well as the further education Coleg Gwent City of Newport Campus, informally known as Nash College.
The overall average house price for Newport is £189,720, which reflects an increase of 5 per cent on the previous year. The majority of house sales were terraced properties, which sold for an average of £143,915, making it a more affordable place to buy than nearby Cardiff. And with such great transport links, surely it’s a no-brainer?
One last thing… Did you know that Newport hosted the Ryder Cup back in 2010 and was the venue for the 2014 NATO summit?